UFC on Fox 18: Johnson vs Bader- ‘Rumbling and Stumbling’
One man rumbled, another stumbled, and an improbable run continues to for a veteran Heavyweight contender. The 18th installment of UFC on Fox is now in the rear-view mirror. The card has some decent moments and certainly will make some headlines for the week, but it won’t be in the running for my Event of the Year award in 2016. My prediction record as even (read as: Not Good), but it wasn’t all bad from a betting stand point as you can see in the Bet Shop. Let’s take a look at the night’s action…Notes from the Prelims
- In a must win fight Tony Martin pulled out a late 3rd round submission in a close fight. Martin has developed a reputation for fading after a strong start. Martin has skill and will hopefully be booked more appropriately going forward.
- In a grinding affair, Damon Jackson and Levan Makashvili battled to a majority draw. The fight turned after a pair of late fouls that resulted in Makashvili losing a point. It was an interesting call on the officials part, with many not agreeing with his decision. In light of the Mitrione/Browne debacle at the last event, this official might have gone too far in the other direction.
- Rounding out the Fight Pass Prelims, Randy Brown picked up a debut victory after being “discovered” by Dana White and company on the new ‘Looking for a Fight’ series. I’m not sure how I feel about the new show. Dana White doesn’t like looking bad and if he promotes a fighter through this series he won’t want to see him get smashed and people question his judgement. Just some food for thought.
- Nice win for Alex Caceres. Looked good back at Featherweight, but against much lesser competition than he was facing at Bantamweight.
- Alexander Yakovlev made quick work of George Sullivan with a opening round knockout. This was the first win for Yakovlev at Welterweight.
- Wilson Reis continued to show marked improvement in his striking and was vastly superior to Dustin Ortiz when on the mat. The loss to Formiga was a setback, but this victory will move Reis right back up the ranks. Conversely, this was the worst performance of Dustin Ortiz’s UFC career.
- He didn’t get the finish in opening round, but Rafael Natal turned the fight in his favour with a big knockdown at the bell. He came out strong in the middle frame and picked up the finish in the 3rd round. Natal has quietly put together a sound 4-fight winning streak. Thiago Santos might be a suitable next opponent.
- Diego Ferreira was the more aggressive striker early and the dominant grappler late. After the OAM started to find success in the 2nd round, Ferreira turned the fight back in his favour in Round 3 with his ground game. Once the Brazilian took his foe’s back he never let the position go and earned a much needed victory.
- Rounding out the prelim card, Tarec Saffiedine earned a big win over former top contender Jake Ellenberger. Despite Ellenberger stunning Tarec in the opening round and in the final moments of the fight, it wasn’t enough to get the nod on the scorecards. The win for Saffiedine starts 2016 off on the right foot and should lead to bigger fights if he can stay healthy. For Ellenberger, it could be time to hang them up and if he doesn’t walk away he will most likely be Bellator bound.
Hype trains have been leaving the rails left, right, and center in the UFC and Sage Northcutt’s crashed and burned on Saturday night. Sage looked good in the opening round, but was starting to slow down and once Bryan Barberena got on top of him in round 2 it was the beginning of the end. A lot of similarities were drawn between Sage and Paige VanZant, but their recent defeats stand miles apart. PVZ was all heart and took a prolong beating with no quit until she had nothing left. Conversely, Sage quit midway through a submission that was yet to be fully synched in. In Sage’s defense, he is young and this was too much too soon. It will be interesting to see how he is booked going forward. For Baberena, he picks up a huge win- unfortunately it probably won’t improve his standings within the division much beyond any of his other normal UFC win.Aint No Stopping Him Now
Jimmie Rivera had to bide his time to get into the UFC, but now he is making the most of it. A massive win over Top 15 ranked Iuri Alcantara will no doubt move Rivera into the rankings and onto bigger fights. Jimmie was at a sizeable size disadvantage, but outside of a couple of knockdowns he never let the Brazilian out of the starting blocks. Rivera called for fights against either Bryan Caraway or Aljamain Sterling next- I would like to see him against Caraway. The more new blood that can climb into the title contention without eliminating each other along the way is better for the division.Right Where He Wanted Him
The first round was most likely Josh Barnett’s and he appeared to be getting the better of round 2. Ben Rothwell has had similar fights where he was falling behind on the scorecards or taking damage and then got his hand raised in the blink of an eye. Rothwell now has the 2nd longest winning streak in the division and in my mind he deserves a shot at the title. At the same time, Stipe Miocic has also earned his shot at the title and shouldn’t be passed over. With Cain on the sidelines yet again, it is time for him to work his way back up the ranks and show the UFC he can remain healthy with a couple of wins. I would be all for Miocic versus Werdum for the title and then Rothwell facing the winner later this year.
Barnett was looking good, and building on the skills he showed against Roy Nelson. If Josh opts to remain active the key to his success will be melding his wrestling and striking skills together. If he can keep his opponent guessing, he will find greater success in both areas.Gone in a Flash
All of the wins and recent success that Ryan Bader had compiled on his run to a possible title shot disappeared with one ill-fated shot. Conversely,Anthony Johnson showed why he is arguably the most dangerous man in the division. Once Rumble defended Bader’s faltering submission attempt, the knockout seemed almost inevitable. Johnson hasn’t fought Jon Jones yet and while he had his moments against Daniel Cormier, Jones versus Johnson is the fight that makes the most sense. That is if ‘Bones’ can recapture the title.
For Ryan Bader, this is a defeat that will be tough to swallow. His wins over Davis and Evans moved him to the doorstep of the elite in the division, but his loss brings all of the critics screaming back to the forefront. Considering he has fought most of the other guys ranked in the top 10, Bader versus Alexander Gustafsson is probably the fight to make for both men looking to rebound.Final Thoughts…
There were some good fights on the card and some nice finishes, but this event just didn’t seem to have “it”. I hope Northcutt can take this loss and turn it into a positive. He clearly has some holes in his game, so of which can be fixed in the gym and some that will come with age and experience. I went 6-6 on the prediction front and after watching Sullivan get knocked out and Ortiz get totally outclassed I accepted that this was not going to be my night. But, the Be Pack (posted below) did have a few highlights worth noting. The Silver Section Parlays returned just over 57 units, between side bets, totals, and No Plays the betting breakdowns had correct info in 9 of 13 fights, and the prop bets finished strong winning 4 of the last 5 to finish above the .500 mark. Time is of the essence as UFC 196 UFC Fight Night 82 is right around the corner.
Selection 1: TONY MARTIN $1.56
When its broke, or at least not paying out like it should be, its time to fix it. Instead of putting together Parlays based on what type of bettor you might be, we are going to rank each parlay/ single bet based on 3 things- Value, Risk, and Confidence. It will be up to you to decide which plays you feel like making and which ones you are going to pass on. Keep in mind this is gambling- there is massive risk involved any time you lay money on the line and with the unpredictability of a sport like MMA it only makes it tougher. All we can do is prepare ourselves to the fullest extend and make bets that we feel good about. Let’s make some money! GOLD- Bets posted in this section will have a solid payout, involve moderate risk, but my confidence level will be high. Single bets and 2-3 fight parlays, potentially the odd prop bet. SILVER- Bets posted in this section will have a solid to slightly higher payout, but will involved a little more risk and while I am confident enough to post these bets, I do see where we could go wrong. Single bets, 3-4 fight parlays and prop bets. More Underdogs involved. BRONZE- Bets posted in this section will normally have the highest payouts, but also involve the most risk. Major Underdogs, larger parlays, and higher risk prop bets. WILDCARD- This section will include bets only to be made if you have some extra cash. Most posts in this section will be long shots to hit or at least have a lot of working parts involved, but if they do the win the payout will be significant. Betting Units “What is a unit?”A popular term in sports betting is “unit” and below I will explain what bettors mean they refer to a unit, and examples of it being used. A “unit” in sports betting is a measurement of the size of someone’s bet. Because everyone has different sized bankrolls for sports betting, using the term unit is a way for us to show your profit or loss in universal terms. Someone who is betting $10,000 per bet and is up $18,000 on the season isn’t nearly as impressive as someone who bets $10 per bet and is up $180 on the season. Using units gives us a tool to keep track of profits and losses without the dollar value. Because basic sports betting strategy tells us that you should be betting somewhere between 1-5% of your bankroll on each wager, it is generally accepted that a unit is equal to approximately 1% of your bankroll. Nothing is set on stone with this, but that is an easy way to calculate a single unit. Using the above formula, someone who has a $1,000 bankroll would be betting $10 per unit, while someone with a $50,000 bankroll would be betting $500 per unit. Using the bankroll management strategy that recommends 1-5% of your bankroll on each bet you would essentially want to bet between 1-5 “units”. Many sports handicappers will release their plays with units, with the most common being 1-5 units or sometimes 1-7 units. The 1,2, and 3 unit plays are more of the average plays, while the 4, 5 and sometimes 6 and 7 unit plays are the big plays where the handicapper feels they have found a lot of value on a play. If a handicapper released a 5 unit play and you had a $1,000 sports betting bankroll you would be risking 5% (5 units) or $50 on the play.
When its broke, or at least not paying out like it should be, its time to fix it. Instead of putting together Parlays based on what type of bettor you might be, we are going to rank each parlay/ single bet based on 3 things- Value, Risk, and Confidence. It will be up to you to decide which plays you feel like making and which ones you are going to pass on.
Keep in mind this is gambling- there is massive risk involved any time you lay money on the line and with the unpredictability of a sport like MMA it only makes it tougher. All we can do is prepare ourselves to the fullest extend and make bets that we feel good about. Let’s make some money!
GOLD- Bets posted in this section will have a solid payout, involve moderate risk, but my confidence level will be high. Single bets and 2-3 fight parlays, potentially the odd prop bet.
SILVER- Bets posted in this section will have a solid to slightly higher payout, but will involved a little more risk and while I am confident enough to post these bets, I do see where we could go wrong. Single bets, 3-4 fight parlays and prop bets. More Underdogs involved.
BRONZE- Bets posted in this section will normally have the highest payouts, but also involve the most risk. Major Underdogs, larger parlays, and higher risk prop bets.
WILDCARD- This section will include bets only to be made if you have some extra cash. Most posts in this section will be long shots to hit or at least have a lot of working parts involved, but if they do the win the payout will be significant.
“What is a unit?”A popular term in sports betting is “unit” and below I will explain what bettors mean they refer to a unit, and examples of it being used.
A “unit” in sports betting is a measurement of the size of someone’s bet. Because everyone has different sized bankrolls for sports betting, using the term unit is a way for us to show your profit or loss in universal terms.
Someone who is betting $10,000 per bet and is up $18,000 on the season isn’t nearly as impressive as someone who bets $10 per bet and is up $180 on the season. Using units gives us a tool to keep track of profits and losses without the dollar value.
Because basic sports betting strategy tells us that you should be betting somewhere between 1-5% of your bankroll on each wager, it is generally accepted that a unit is equal to approximately 1% of your bankroll. Nothing is set on stone with this, but that is an easy way to calculate a single unit.
Using the above formula, someone who has a $1,000 bankroll would be betting $10 per unit, while someone with a $50,000 bankroll would be betting $500 per unit.
Using the bankroll management strategy that recommends 1-5% of your bankroll on each bet you would essentially want to bet between 1-5 “units”.
Many sports handicappers will release their plays with units, with the most common being 1-5 units or sometimes 1-7 units. The 1,2, and 3 unit plays are more of the average plays, while the 4, 5 and sometimes 6 and 7 unit plays are the big plays where the handicapper feels they have found a lot of value on a play.
If a handicapper released a 5 unit play and you had a $1,000 sports betting bankroll you would be risking 5% (5 units) or $50 on the play.
=================================================== Lineup #1 =================================================== Fighter 1: TONY MARTIN $10000 Fighter 2: MATT DWYER $8900 Fighter 3: GEORGE SULLIVAN $9600 Fighter 4: DUSTIN ORTIZ $10300 Fighter 5: ANTHONY JOHNSON $10900 =================================================== Salary Remaining: =================================================== Lineup #2 =================================================== Fighter 1: DUSTIN ORTIZ $10300 Fighter 2: TAREC SAFFIEDINE $10600 Fighter 3: JIMMIE RIVERA $10200 Fighter 4: JOSH BARNETT $10100 Fighter 5: DAMON JACKSON $8700 =================================================== Salary Remaining:
TONY MARTIN $1.56 vs FELIPE OLIVIERI $2.64
Buyer beware, Tony Martin could be damaged goods. He is a very capable ground fighter and nearly pulled off a huge win in his debut, but has gone 1-3 in the UFC. Those losses came against 3 fighters on the rise. This fight is a step down in comp where he can either find his footing or wash out completely. From a betting standpoint, he isn’t going to be one of my bigger plays. Leaving him off the card altogehter is certainly an option. Based on what he has shown us against top level comp, which is 1 strong round and then over, he is more then capable of winning this fight. I would think a Bronze level play might be appropriate or working him together with the next fighter on our list in a 2 leg Silver parlay, plus a look at the total makes sense.
Martin is a much more interesting all-in type play for your fantasy team. At $10000, he is a slight favourite and only averages 36.4 ppf. Most people will look at him and pass. What we need to realize is that if he is winning this fight it will most likely come inside the first half of the fight- more likely the opening round. That scores big points. If he does happen to take a decision, it will be on the basis of takedowns and positional advancements- also point scorers. If you are a risk taker, play him on your #1 team- knowing that he could give you a big goose egg. If you want to play it a little more safe, team #2 works as well. I will take the risk.
DAMON JACKSON $3.63 vs LEVAN MAKASHVILI $1.35
I’m not 100% sure what Makashvili has done to deserve being such a heavy favourite. He barely took a decision from Eddiva and did show that much in his loss to Dias. Jackson hasn’t done that more, but I felt he looked better in the fight against Jason prior to getting submitted- then anything Levan has shown us. If there wrestling/ grappling skills cancel each other out, this fight will come down to the striking. Jackson is far more aggressive and far more active. Makashvili sits at range and waits. And waits. And waits. He will eventually engage, but his opponent will have scored several times prior to it. He was a huge favourite in his debut and almost lost it, now he is facing a fighter with a skill set much more suited to match his and a gas tank to do it over 3 rounds. Also, the way DJ sets up his takedowns with his strikes could lead him to score on 1 or 2 which is huge in a close fight. At this price, we are getting some solid value on Jackson. I think a single bet or possibly pairing him up with one Martin in the Silver section is worth a look. The total is going to make a little noise here as well.
Jackson is cheap at just $8700 and while I don’t anticipate a finish, he makes the cut on my #2 squad to make the budget work. I look for him to score between 50-65 points between strikes and a decision win.
MATT DWYER $2.40 vs RANDY BROWN $1.70
I don’t know enough about Brown to consider a bet here on him. What I do know is that I am not a fan of him being a favourite in this fight. I am under the belief that Northcutt’s success coming off Dana’s new show has rubbed off in Brown and raised the expectations on his debut. Dwyer is tough, flawed, but tough. He also has some decent experience on his side. While I might consider Dwyer for a Bronze level bet, I am leaning more towards the total as the most playable option here.
At just $8900, Dwyer is tempting against a green fighter with half the experience and no time spent beyond the 2nd round. Finishing is the name of the game for both men, but if you are on the wrong side it will cost you. I look at most tournaments and see that 400+ pts is going to get you in the money or close to it. If you pick both of these fighters on your team and one picks up a quick finish that will put you between 100-115 pts depending on how they both score. It puts a tonne of pressure on the remaining 3 fighters on your roster to produce- but if they do you would be sitting somewhere around that 400 point mark. Not my official strategy, but something to consider. When looking over the entire card, it is hard to find a lineup of fighters that I really like that works within the budgetary restraints. As a result, the low price on Dwyer combined with his finishing capabilities makes him my #5 guy in my top lineup.
ALEX CACERES $1.36 vs MASIO FULLEN $3.57
Caceres is on the edge and a loss to Fullen will push him over. Moving up a weight class is always an area of concern. I can’t make a play on Caceres at this price, even against Fullen who is yet to win in the UFC. This fight is a pass in all areas.
GEORGE SULLIVAN $2.03 vs ALEXANDER YAKOVLEV $1.90
This is by far one of my bigger plays on the card. I love Sullivan here as the dog. When I line these two fighters up- he hits hard, is more active, and while his technique is far from flasy I prefer it to anything Yakovlev as shown us. Sullivan has been taken down multiple times in fights, but tends to battle through it. Yaks could look to exploit that, but he lacks the drive to finish on his shot. Against a physical bruiser like Sullivan, that isn’t going to fly. In fact, it might end up costing him as Sully is capable scrambling his way to top position. I knew the line would be close, but I had had Sullivan around $1.70-75. Yakovlev snaked by Maynard at LW, which isn’t that big of a deal and is now coming back up to WW to face a very physical fighter who has a trio of solid low-level wins under his belt. Gold Parlay leg here for me.
I also have Sullivan on my fantasy team. He knows how to finish and he knows how to put up points with his strikes. Additionally, as already mentioned a couple of fights ago- this card is a little tougher on the budget so his price tag of $9600 along with Dwyer’s $8900 gives me wiggle room for my final 2 picks.
DUSTIN ORTIZ $1.48 vs WILSON REIS $2.96
There are 2 things I look at when analyzing this fight. 1) Ortiz has been competitive in all of his bouts, even against Joe. Moreover, he looked awesome in his last fight against Gates and we are seeing that his win over Borg is more and more impressive every time Ray steps inside the cage. Ortiz is coming into his own right now. 2) Reis has made improvements and is probably the most complete fighter that he has ever been. Where the problem lies is with his chin. He has been knocked out twice in his career, but more telling is what has transpired over his last 3 fights. In each of those bouts, including 2 wins, he has been knocked down by his opponent. Those 3 fighters have a combined 5 knockouts in 58 total fights. Not one of them is considered a dangerous knockout artist. While Ortiz is far from Rumble Johnson, he does have power in his hands and knows how to finish. Even if he doesn’t finish, combining an early knockdown with the type of pace and activity that Ortiz carries will be hard for Reis to overcome. I give Ortiz the advantage on the feet and his ability to scramble his way out of bad spots on the mat will take away Reis’s best weapon and slow him down. Ortiz is part of my Gold Parlay.
I also have Ortiz on my #1 team and quite possibly in the 2nd lineup as well. It came down to him and Saffiedine for he top team and with Ortiz costing a little less and having a greater chance to finish he makes the cut. He will score points with his volume of strikes and his activity on the mat. He will score more with a finish.
RAFAEL NATAL $1.61 vs KEVIN CASEY $2.53
‘King’ Casey is getting a lot of love around the prediction world. I don’t quite understand it. He is a capable ground fighter, but he needs to be in top position to be effective. His striking is below average, his gas tank is worse, and his foot speed is horrid. If he can take Natal down with regularity or land something flush on his chin- different story, but I don’t see him winning this fight under most scenarios. Natal is quicker and more diverse with his striking. His leg kicks should do a number on the legs of Casey and with his base gone he will be slower still. Casey beat Alcantara because Ildemar sat back and didn’t push the pace or even really attack at all. Natal will do enough to win here. I do like the price here, but not quite enough to go all in- Silver Leg.
No Fantasy play here.
OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER $1.36 vs DIEGO FERREIRA $3.57
I will keep things simple here. OAM shouldn’t be this big of a favourite. Ferreira is a dangerous grappler and he is aggressive on the feet. His willingness to come forward could give OAM trouble. If the Brazilian can keep OAM from getting comfortable on the mat and this turns into a striking bout it will be a much closer contest. No side bet or Fantasy play. I will look at the total though.
TAREC SAFFIEDINE $1.41 vs JAKE ELLENBERGER $3.31
Ellenberger is done competing at the top. Is Saffiedine at the top though? When he is active and at the top of his game he is capable of breaking into the top 10 and hanging with most fighters in the division. Unfortunately, that is not where he is right now. I still think he has enough. If Ellenberger can’t set the pace and keep his opponent backing up, he isn’t the same fighter. He has looked apprehensive of late and for good reason consider his recent string of knockout losses. The volume and leg kicks of Saffiedine will be the difference here against a fighter at the end of his run. With the layoff I have Tarec in the Silver section.
For my Draftking’s lineup, he isn’t a finisher, but against Jake he could be. Even if he isn’t able to put him away, he will land with volume. Look for him to be somewhere around the 100-120 sig strikes landed and with 25 points for a decision that will finish him between 75-85 points. The reason he doesn’t draw a spot in my #1 team is because of his cost. At $10600, he is a little more costly then Ortiz who could produce similar results and score the finish.
SAGE NORTHCUTT $1.33 vs BRYAN BARBERENA $4.00
Is this the fight that derails the Sage Express? Possibly. Barberena is tough. I felt Holbrook was going to give him a hard fight, but BB could be tougher yet. Sage is a gifted striker and pretty darn good on the mat. The big question is- how does he fair against a fighter that doesn’t go away after the first onslaught. Pfister pushed him on the floor and Sage was probably the benefactor of a questionable stand-up to get him out of a tough spot. I think my plan here is to sit back and enjoy the fight- either a young prospect continues to rise up the ranks or an unheralded fighter gets the biggest win of his career.
No Fantasy Play here either. At $11000, Sage is too expensive. There are cheaper alternatives that could score as many or more points and allow you to save some cash to invest elsewhere.
IURI ALCANTARA $2.53 vs JIMMIE RIVERA $1.63
I almost took Alcantara and based on the back and forth that I went through, a counter bet is in order. He has big power and is incredibly dangerous on the mat. He is also huge for the division and will be bigger and longer than Rivera. On the flip side, his counter wrestling is questionable, he isn’t a high output striker, and will slow down in a longer fight. I think Rivera can exploit all of those areas. If Alcantara can’t land that big shot and put him away- he won’t be able to keep up. Considering he only has a couple of finishes in his last 11 fights, there is a good chance he won’t be able to stop Rivera either. Look for a bit of a slow start as Rivera respects the power, but once Alcantara starts to slow the volume will open up a gap. Takedowns will also score points. Still because of how dangerous Alcantara is and how close I was to picking him, Rivera slips to the Silver section.
I do have Jimmie on my #2 DK squad. He has the ability to finish, but that will be tough against Alcantara. Moreover, it will be his volume and potential takedowns that score you points. Compared to others on the card, he is a cheaper alternative.
BEN ROTHWELL $2.23 vs JOSH BARNETT $1.74
Rothwell is like the cat with 9 lives. He gets hurt by Schaub, KOs him when Schaub moves in for the kill. Eats a lot of shots from Vera, is arguably on his way to a decision loss and stops him late. He gets routinely cracked by Overeem with kicks and knees to the body before clipping him for the finish. Struggles with the speed of Mitrione and is getting outworked before getting a gift submission win. It could happen again here- Barnett scores a couple of early TDs, dominates the opening round and then gets hurt and finish while shooting early in round 2. You heard it here first! I considered Rothwell, he could be a tough out here for sure- but Barnett is the play. I like his wrestling to be a big part of this fight. Rothwell isn’t a strong fighter off of his back and if Josh gets on top it will be big trouble. Watch for the arm-triangle choke. I also like the clinch fighting that Barnett has shown in recent fights. He can do a lot of damage in close and wear Ben down in that position. It also leaves him open to taking damage, especially with the big uppercut of Rothwell in tight. A knockout on either side in a HW bout isn’t that big of a stretch, but the most logical scenarios have Barnett winning and that is why I am backing him and I will be doing it at the top level. Barnett rounds out my 3-leg Gold parlay.
I also have ‘the Warmaster’ on my #2 DK roster. He has the ability to finish and scoring via takedowns, transitions, and staying active will make his $10100 pretty viable.
ANTHONY JOHNSON $1.37 vs RYAN BADER $3.57
Johnson’s power versus Bader’s strategy/wrestling. Bader’s chin vs Johnson heart/cardio. What scenario will impact the outcome of this fight? I understand why many people are looking at this fight and picking Bader. I don’t think he should be this big a dog. As a result, a counter bet is in order. If he can win 1 of the opening 3 rounds and then push the fight into rounds 4 and 5 he could take a decision. He could also score a TKO or submission if he is able to exhaust Rumble to the point that he can’t defend himself anymore. That being said- if he can’t score takedowns his pitter patter approach won’t be enough. Johnson is too aggressive, will cut off the cage, and unload with big power. Evans had Bader backing up when he finally elected to come forward- but he just didn’t have the firepower to make it count. Rumble will. The value on Rumble isn’t great, but looking at a prop option could make him playable.
I do have Johnson on my #1 DK squad. He isn’t cheap at $10900, but he is dangerous. He will be looking for the finish from the onset and if you are going to win in Fantasy MMA you need guys like that on your team.
1. DUSTIN ORTIZ $1.48
2. JOSH BARNETT $1.74
3. GEORGE SULLIVAN $2.03
4. ANTHONY JOHNSON $1.37
5. SAGE NORTHCUTT $1.33
6. TAREC SAFFIEDINE $1.41
7. JIMMIE RIVERA $1.63
8. OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER $1.36
9. RAFAEL NATAL $1.61
10. ALEX CACERES $1.36
11. TONY MARTIN $1.56
12. DAMON JACKSON $3.63
13. MATT DWYER $2.40
1. GEORGE SULLIVAN $2.03
2. JOSH BARNETT $1.74
3. DAMON JACKSON $3.63
4. MATT DWYER $2.40
5. DUSTIN ORTIZ/WILSON REIS Total Rounds Under 2.5 $3.25
The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.
The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.
1. IURI ALCANTARA $2.53- Both Bader and Alcantara have realistic avenues to victory. While I feel their opponents come out on top in both, pairing them together in a parlay offers a nice hedge against any of your main bets.
2. RYAN BADER $3.57- See Above.
The Counter Bet list consists of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win. These 5 fighters are the best betting options available of all of the fighters that I predicted to lose and although I fully endorse my own predicted winner I feel that giving this type of information is only fair to my followers as it gives them further insight into my opinion on each match-up.
Some people might question the use of one fighter in a parlay and the other (an underdog) in a straight up bet, but here is my logic.
Scenario: the Fav is in a 3 fighter parlay and it pays $5 x your bet of $30 and the dog pays $3.50 x your bet of $10.
The underdog single bet offers a nice safety net. If he wins then you bet a total of $40 and won $35, your losses are minimal. If your parlay wins then you bet $40 and won $150, so it is still a decent profit line.
There is the possibility that you might not win either bet, but having an “insurance” style bet can keep you from going broke a lot of nights.
Exclusive Bet Pack Content.
TONY MARTIN/FELIPE OLIVIERI
See Betting Scenario Section.
DAMON JACKSON/ LEVAN MAKASHVILI
See Betting Scenario Section.
MATT DWYER/ RANDY BROWN Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.95
Both fighters have a pension for finishing their opponent. Dwyer has stopped all 8 of his wins by knockout, 6 coming in under 1.5 rounds. He has also been finished in 2 of his 3 loses- both very early in the opening round. Brown has stopped all 6 of his victims, with 5 of 6 closing up before the halfway mark. Both men are strikers and both will go for the finish early. There is some concern that Brown takes a step up, is the better fighter, but can’t get the finish at all or at least not quick enough. I still like the under.
DUSTIN ORTIZ/WILSON REIS Total Rounds Under 2.5 $3.25
This is a play I can’t resist making and it is mainly built around Ortiz winning. To the average player who looks at this fight and each respective fighters’ track record they will either play the over or move along. Ortiz has gone to the 3rd round in 14 straight fights dating back to 2010. Reis has gone to the 3rd round in 6 of his last 8 fights. Neither man has a big rep for finishing. But, as mentioned in my breakdowns- Reis has been dropped in each of his last 3 fights against guys who are not considered big hitters. Ortiz hits pretty hard, but more importantly I see him jumping Reis and putting it on him leading to the finish if he does get him hurt. Big value on the Under. I like it.
OLIVIER AUBIN-MERCIER/DIEGO FERREIRA Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.47
Not a huge play, but I see their skills cancelling each other out and sending this bout to the scorecards. If either man can submit the other that would be a huge feather in their respective cap. Ferreira is probably the greater threat on the feet, but unless OAM walks right into something like Ramsey did- we are going the distance. Play the Over.
TAREC SAFFIEDINE/ JAKE ELLENBERGER
See Betting Scenario Section.
SAGE NORTHCUTT/ BRYAN BARBERENA Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.74
Barberena is a tough nut to crack and if Sage blasts through him inside the first half of the fight I will be impressed. I expect to see some early striking exchanges, following by some ground action. BB is tough enough to see this bout into the second half. Play the Over.
BEN ROTHWELL/ JOSH BARNETT Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.69
2.5 rounds for a HW fight is rare, but not unheard of. I smashed the Nelson/Barnett Over- but I see some potential for this one to end early. If Barnett gets the fight to the mat a submission won’t be far behind. Both men are durable, but I could see either going down with the right amount of damage. Barnett is a smart fighter and will recognize where he is most dangerous and where he is most at danger- he takes Ben down and submits him. Under.
Anthony Johnson to Win by TKO/KO/DQ $1.56
I looked at the under, but Bader’s style could help him avoid Rumble long enough to get the over in place. Bader’s chin is an area of vulnerability, and Johnson was still swinging in the later rounds against Cormier. With Bader’s style I don’t see him wearing Rumble down enough to remove the ever-present threat of the knockout. It might come in round 2 or 3, but it will happen.